You only live once.
Your goal is to lose weight.
Amazing food available for free at a dinner function.
None of it’s in line with your nutrition plan.
Tomorrow may never come.
What if tomorrow does come?
The Seesaw Battle
Balancing between enjoying life, living in the moment, living like there’s no tomorrow, and following a nutrition plan, staying regimented, and attempting to lose weight, sure can be a challenge.
Life is short, I’m going to eat whatever I want.
My goal is to lose weight, I will stick to my plan.
Which of these would you choose? Living for the moment, or reaching your weight loss goal?
The best answer I can think of is to have a balance between the two but, can having a Yolo (you only live once) mind-set and having a weight loss goal co-exist?
The answer is YES!
To truly grow, you must be willing, at any moment, to sacrifice what you are today, for what you will become.
The “You Only Live Once” mindset can work in two ways. Here’s two options as it relates to weight loss:
1. I only live once and therefore I will eat, drink, and do whatever it is I want.
2. I only live once and therefore I will feel my best, look my best, and live my best.
Again, which of these would you choose? Which of these have you perhaps already chosen?
I always have, and still do, live my life to the fullest. Always have, always will. Maybe you’re the same way. If there’s something I want to do, I do it. If there’s somewhere I want to go, I go. If there’s a gigantic chocolate cake I want to eat, I eat it. A true “Yolo” mindset.
I still remember getting my first credit card at the age of 18 years old. I was a Freshman in college and had just received my very first Discover Credit Card with a $2000 limit.
As an 18 year old with a credit limit of $2000 and a “you only live once” mentality, that was trouble waiting to happen.
It took me many years to pay off all the debt I incurred during that time, which was lots more than just the initial $2000 I was first issued, and to learn how to balance my “Yolo” mindset with not over doing it, being able to budget my money, and still achieve my own personal financial goals.
“Without balance, a life is no longer worth the effort.”
~ Olen Steinhauer ~
This isn’t a lesson in finances. I only mention this story here to offer my own personal experience with balancing a “you only live once” mindset with budgeting financially since weight loss has never been a goal of mine. The goal itself is irrelevant. What is relevant is managing our mindset with what we want and with our goals, whatever they may be.
My mindset hasn’t changed. What’s changed is how I respond, how I act, what I do, & the decisions I make.
You can live in the moment, enjoy life to the fullest, and still stay true to your weight loss goals. It’s how we think, what we think, and how we define living in the moment that makes all the difference.
Here Are Some Examples
Your goal is to lose weight and you find yourself in the following situations:
#1 It’s Friday and you’re headed to Happy Hour with some friends. You want to hang out with them and socialize but you know there will be drinks and potentially unhealthy food involved.
Do This: Go and socialize with your friends, have fun, hang out, laugh, enjoy yourself, it’s Friday. Have one drink only. Drink it slowly and when you’re done with it, have water. Ask for it in a wine glass. It may sound silly but the idea of hanging out, socializing, and having fun, is what’s most important, not how many drinks you’re having. As far as food goes, have a healthy snack like a protein bar, hand full of almonds, or a piece of fruit right before. This will help to curb your food cravings until you get home.
#2 There’s a event you’re going to where there will be all sorts of amazing food available to eat for free and even an open bar.
Do This: As far as the an open bar goes, refer to example #1. For the food, decide on what is the healthiest option available to you there is and have that. Usually, it’ll be a salad bar or appetizers that consist of shrimp or any kind of meat. Stick to these options and have only a few. Yes I know, “but it’s all free”, but this probably isn’t the first time nor the last time you will have an opportunity like this come around. Complete your weight loss goal FIRST and once you do, we’ll have a different discussion the next time around.
3# It’s a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary or you’re on vacation somewhere.
Do This: The last two examples apply here as well. The only change I suggest making here is if it is your birthday, well for Pete sake, you need to have at least a small piece of birthday cake. If you’re vacationing in Greece, yes, you need to try some of the local foods. Knowing this, wake up earlier that same day and get in a workout. That’s your number one priority that day. Next, have the cake, have the Greek food, but have a smaller amount of it. Do not, I repeat, do not over eat and stuff yourself. This is where you get in trouble and all of your weight loss efforts go out the window.
#4 You’ve had a crappy day and you just want to eat and drink all your sorrows away.
Do This: I’ve had many of these days myself. What I always do and suggest you do as well is first and foremost, exercise. Whether it’s going to the gym, going for a run, a walk, yoga, or a quick workout at the park, just exercise first before anything else. If you’ve already exercised that morning, then just go for a walk. Doing this will alleviate stress and tension, increase endorphin’s that will begin to make you feel better, and then upon getting home, have a big glass of water. More often than not, after doing this, you’ll be in a more relaxed state of mind and more likely to think clearly and in line with your weight loss goals.
My Take & How I Relate
Here’s how I balance each of these four scenarios above with my own personal financial goals:
#1 – Where I would usually go all out and just order whatever it was I felt like having, I am more conscience of the drink prices now and will often take advantage of the Happy Hour specials. In addition, where I would normally think I was a multi-millionaire and pick up the tab for everyone, I now let everyone handle their own tab. I’ll still pick up the tab on occasion, just not every single time.
#2 – Open bars usually offer only a select number of options. In the past, if I didn’t like the options, I would order whatever it was I wanted, even if it meant paying for it. Now, if there’s an open bar with food made available that’s free, I will stick to these options only. There’s no need for me to be high maintenance and need something different. Did I just said that? 🙂
#3 – This one is a tough one for me since I believe that when I am on vacation, I want to be able to do whatever it is I want. I can still do so, but within reason. I can take advantage of complimentary breakfast, I don’t need to valet my car, and I don’t need to order an expensive bottle of wine at dinner. It’s never these things I remember and think back to anyways. It’s always the place, the sunset, the feel of the ocean, and people I met, that I remember, not the valet or expensive wine I drank.
#4 – After a crappy day, going out to eat is usually the first thing that comes to my mind. When it comes to budgeting and sticking to my plan, this one can derail me big-time. That is why exercise is the best remedy here. It keeps me from going out and after my workout, I usually have a protein shake. At this point, all I usually want to do then is to shower and just relax. Problem aborted.
Life is awesome and full of amazing experiences just waiting for us. Regardless of what our goals may be, we can and should always take full advantage of these opportunities. It’s not the opportunity itself that challenges us, but how we chose to approach each of these opportunities. It’s a mindset, just like “Yolo” is a mindset. There’s no defined way to live, that’s up to us to decide.
Yes, we only live once.
The question is, how do you want to live?